Home Student & Career Tips Top 10 Learnerships in South Africa and FAQ – 2023

Top 10 Learnerships in South Africa and FAQ – 2023

This article contains information about the top learnership programmes in South Africa and the Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) about it in 2023.


Before now, only a few individuals were privileged to go to school and acquire certificates. This was basically because of the costs involved in getting a choice qualification. As a result of this, the number of educated and skilled individuals were lower than those without employable skills. In a country where the number of educated and skilled is way below the number of unskilled, the economy of such a country would definitely be going down drastically.

In order to bridge the gap between the educated and uneducated in the country, the South African government came up with an initiative that would assist the disadvantaged, those who desired to get a skill and qualification but lacked the resources to do so. This brought about learnership.

Just like internship and work experience, learnership is basically to promote skills development. Thus, learnership can simply be defined as a work based learning programme that leads one to getting an NQF qualification. This implies that people undergo a learning process  while still working.

In as much as this program was introduced to help people get skilled and qualification along side, it is however not meant for all as it was created primarily for disadvantaged individuals  who do not have access to tertiary education, thus being deprived economic opportunities.

Learnership is an opportunity many individuals would love to take but some are skeptical due to lack of adequate information and proper enlightenment on what the programme is all about.  Inorder to help such individuals to gain clarity and answer the numerous questions bugging them, this article will be containing useful information on everything about learnership.

Thus, below are some of the things you may wish to know about learnership, if not all.


How Do Learnerships Work?

There are two aspects to a learnership,  practical training and theoretical learning. In order to qualify, a learner must pass both of these. The practical training happens on-site at the workplace, while the theory training is provided by the training provider. A learner will be required to complete assessments, assignments, and tests.

The workplace component of the qualification involves hands-on, practical learning under the guidance of a mentor, while the theoretical component is provided by an education and training provider. Together they form an integrated and comprehensive learning programme.

Requirements For Learnership

There are numerous learnership opportunities in existence. For many learnerships, the minimum entry requirement is a National Senior Certificate or National Certificate: Vocational, but there may be more specific subject requirements or even skills requirements such as computer literacy. The requirement in most cases differs and is dependent on the organization.

Moreso, learnerships are based on legally binding agreements between the parties involved, which includes an employer, a learner and a Training Provider. This agreement is designed to spell out the tasks and duties of the employer, the learner and the Training Provider. It is designed to ensure the quality of the training and to protect the interests of all parties involved. However, if you are accepted you will need to sign two legal documents:

  • Learnership Agreement: This is an agreement signed by the learner, the employing organisation and the education provider offering the theoretical training component of the learnership. This agreement clearly outlines the rights and responsibilities of all three parties.
  • Employment Contract: This is a contract you will sign with the employer, and this is only valid for the duration of the learnership.

Learnership requires that a learner enter into a fixed term employment contract with the company while studying towards a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The cost of the qualification falls to the Company. Once the qualification is completed, the learnership will also end automatically.

Importance/Benefits Of Learnership

Learnerships has a lot of importance and benefits to all the parties involved.

  • For individuals: For individuals (the beneficiaries), it’s an avenue to get quality training, practical experience, and to work towards an NQF qualification, all at the same time. While a learnership doesn’t guarantee a job, it sets the individual up for professional success as well as places in a better position to greater job opportunities.
  • For Companies: On the part of the employer, it’s an opportunity to efficiently spend their skills development budget, drive growth in their business.

Who Is Eligible For A Learnership?

Learnerships are available for young people who have completed school, college or learning at other training institutions or who have been unemployed for a while. To be eligible, you must be older than 16 and younger than 35 years to be eligible for a learnership.

Also, unemployed South Africans can  participate in a learnership if only there is an employer prepared to provide the required work experience.

Duration Of Time To Complete Learnership

There is no specific duration of time for a learnership. Learnerships will last as long as it takes to complete the qualification. This implies  that if the duration of the qualification is two years, then the learnership will last for that period of time.

What Does A Learner Receive On Completion?

During the learnership, learners are required to complete assignments, practical tests and projects, and any other tasks as the case may be. They will be formally assessed in the classroom and workplace.

However, if all these assignments are completed successfully, they will be awarded an NQF-registered qualification, that is recognised Nationally. They will receive a certificate stating the qualification and the area of skill development.

Can A Learnership Be Terminated?

Just as a university student can either be suspended or rusticated, a learnership can be terminated. An employer can terminate the contract of a learnership if:

The duration specified in the learnership agreement has expired.The employer and learner have agreed in writing to terminate the learnership agreement, or if there is no such agreement, the SETA that registered the agreement approves the termination or if the learner is dismissed for a reason related to the learner conduct or capacity as an employee.

Do Learnerships Pay A Salary?

The chances of a learner getting paid is on probabilty. However, normally, learners  won’t earn a salary while in a learnership but they will receive a stipend that will cover basic expenses such as transportation and feeding.

There is a specified minimum learner allowance that must be paid to unemployed learners in a learnership. The amount paid as a learner allowance depends on the SETA, type of learnership and the level of qualification. The allowances and conditions are agreed to with each learner before the commencement of the learnership.

Do learners have right?

Because it is an all funded program, many people fear that  they might not be laws in place to protect them from I’ll treatment but the good news is that learners have right. The rights of learners in a learnership are described in Sectoral Determination No. 5 on Learnerships, which forms part of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, 1997. The Sectoral Determination is an official document that describes the conditions of employment of unemployed learners.

It covers issues such as work hours, annual leave, sick leave, the contract of employment that must be signed by the learner and the employer, as well as the certificate of service that the employer has to provide to the learner at the end of the learnership.

You can get a copy of the Sectoral Determination on the Department of Labour’s website, www.labour.gov.za.

Which Learnerships Are Available?

Learnerships are registered with the Department of Labour. To know the learnerships available, it is best to  contact your nearest labour centre for more information about on available learnership Opportunities.  A list of all the registered learnerships is  available on the Department of Labour’s website at www.labour.gov.za

There are some learnerships that do not require learners to meet any entry requirements, but others require learners to have a grade 12 certificate. Some learnerships have entry requirements that relate directly to the field of study. For example, you will not be able to enter a learnership in the field of financial management if you have not completed some basic training in finances.

Will I Get A Job After Completing The Learnership?

If you are unemployed when the learnership begins, there is no guarantee of a job at the end. The employer who provides you with training does not have to offer you a job. But with a qualification and work experience you stand a better chance to get a job than .

So, employment is not guaranteed, but once you have successfully completed your learnership, you will be in a much better position to market yourself as you will now have both work experience and theoretical training. You may also be in a better position to start your own business and generate an income that way.

Preferrably, you might also want to think about studying further. Learners could use the labour centres, private employment agencies or organisations to explore other opportunities.

How Do I Apply For A Learnership If I Am Unemployed?

To be able to apply for Learnership  when unemployed, register with the department of Labour as a work-seeker. When doing this, ensure that  your contact details are up to date. The labour centre will then contact you if you meet the minimum criteria for the learnership of a specific employer. If you meet the criteria you may be called in for a briefing session and possible assessment prior to final selection.

Is There A Difference Between Internships And Learnerships?

Oftentimes, learnerships and internships are confused for the other. The question is, is there a difference between the two? Yes.

Even Internships have a set period in which an organization will allocate for its completion. Some internships  run from a period of 1 month, sometimes 3-6 months or even a year. An internship can be paid or unpaid, with some internships also providing the option of a full- or part-time internship.

This issue is all dependent on the type of organization or company you are working for and the type of internship you are doing. Most internships are taken up by students and graduates in the hopes of attaining a level of experience and skill-building.

Internships provide a structured working experience and exposure that is aligned with your particular field of study. The main focus of an internship is to give you a feel of a full-time working environment and what a particular role is like, while simultaneously facilitating the enhancement of both your personal and career development.

On the other hand, Learnerships are slightly different from internships and they are a popular approach being used by companies in order to develop individual skills and gain real work experience. A learnership is a structured training programme that has both practical and theoretical elements that allow for those undertaking it to obtain a national qualification without having a formal education from a tertiary institution.

This simply means that those doing learnerships are able to gain the exposure of working that an intern would without having the qualification of a graduate. Learnerships tend to target students or individuals who have their GCSE as their highest qualification. The learnership is an avenue that allows them to obtain a national qualification while simultaneously working. Simply put, a learnership is a work-based learning programme and yes, most learnerships are paid.

Unlike an internship which involves an agreement between an employer or company and the intern, a learnership contract involves an employer, you the learner, and a training provider.

In all, both provide a platform for you to learn and gain some exposure in whatever field you choose to pursue.



ADT which is one among South Africa’s largest security companies, offers a 2 year full-time technical learnership programme. the main target of the programme includes alarm installation, management and maintenance. Students who complete the programme will receive a SASSETA accreditation.


The specialized financial services provider has opportunities available for college students with a Matric pass. The 12 month programme equips students with theoretical classroom education and practical workplace training.

Once students complete the programme, they receive a NQF qualification in their choice fields


The South African full service bank which specialises in retail banking, insurance, vehicle financing and exchange  offers a 12 month learnership position to students who wish to pursue a career within the banking sector.


Coca-Cola may be a household favourite brand, not only in South Africa but also internationally. The company’s learnership programme is geared at community upliftment for college kids who wish to pursue a career within the food industry.

The programme offers learnership vacancies within the following fields: Packaging, Packing Management, Logistics, Bottling Management.


Top global logistics and postal company, DHL have learnership opportunities for various career fields including: Logistics, Domestic Logistics, Distribution, Asset Control, Procurement, Project Control, Product Management, Production, Marketing. Students who have completed a Degree or Diploma qualification and are below the age of 30 years might be eligible for application.


This personal hospital which operates in South Africa and Namibia offers learnerships to students with interest in Medicine. Some of the available fields include: Enrolled Nurse, Operating Department Assistance, etc. The position doesn’t require any prior qualifications or working experience, however students must have a Matric pass and be in good medical health.


Microsoft Corporation is a multinational technology company who develop, support, license, manufacture and sell personal computers, computer software and consumer electronics.

The Microsoft Learnership programme is for those who have completed a Degree or Diploma qualification and need to figure within the following career fields: computing , Computer Engineering, Programming Research, Communication, Management, Human Resources, Finances, Sales and Marketing.


South African Breweries is one of the leading distributor of beer and the top brewer in South Africa. SAB partners with the SETAs to supply learnership opportunities to students seeking employment at SAB.


This is a top vehicle tracking company, connecting over 1 million vehicles. The Tracker learnership programme is out there to students who would really like to realize knowledge, experience and skills through structured unit standard based learning and workplace experience. A Matric pass with English and arithmetic , a legitimate driver’s license, also as basic computer and administration skills are a requirement .


Unilever is a popular organization that is known to produce different types of household products. It’s learnerships are generally offered within the following career paths: Research, Management, Finance, Human Resources, Supply Chain, Marketing, Development, Customer Development.


In conclusion, learnerships were created to support and help the less privileged and disadvantaged get educated and skilled to an inexpensive extent. it’s a chance worth taking advantage of then , there’s no more excuse on why anybody who has this information should remain ignorant. Education has been made available at no cost. What’s still the excuse?

Nothing I guess!!


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